“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault.
Hi, How are you?
Those words began my very first blog twenty weeks ago. How quickly that time has gone, yet how long ago it seems too. Given all that’s happening at the moment, the question remains an important one because although we have put much of our life on hold, we have all moved forward during that time.
So… how are you now?
We sometimes get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we don’t take time to recognise and appreciate all that we’ve done and all we’ve been through. It’s important though, because our experiences shape us. The journey is often as important as the destination, and sometimes even more so.
We had a lovely moment this week when we collected a copy of a special yearbook put together for the year six pupils at my daughter’s old school. It was full of photos of the children as they progressed from cheeky or shy little four year-olds, to the bright young people standing next to us. It is a lovely celebration of their journey through the years, made all the more poignant when we look back at the exceptional circumstances that faced them at the end of that time. My daughter spent a long time that evening flicking through the glossy pages, delight on her face, exclaiming at each forgotten memory or funny photo.
Photos can bring back so many memories and I’m old enough to remember when we had to send camera films off to be processed. Do you remember that? The pictures would arrive, with a thud on the doormat, days after you’d forgotten you sent the film off, and opening the little shiny folder and seeing the photos, was always a special moment. It’s all too easy now to just file our hundreds of quick phone snaps to a cloud somewhere in the ether, but I do like the apps that show you “on-this-day photos” – mini snapshots of our past lives.
It feels important for us as humans to acknowledge our past. Yes, there will always be some things we want to forget, but they are still a part of us and we should honour that and there will always be something to learn from the experience. Sometimes when we remember what we got through we wonder how we did, but knowing that we did, brings confidence and courage. Looking back helps us to remember and appreciate our strengths and our achievements, and helps us to empathise with others facing similar situations.
This week marks six months since we went into lockdown… looking back, how has your journey been? I’m guessing it wasn’t all plain sailing, but we got here. I wonder what you would tell your old self – the one setting out on that journey – given all that you know now. Maybe you would tell them not to worry about running out of toilet rolls… but what else?
We might well be heading for a difficult time again, and there is plenty of uncertainty about the future, but knowing we have already made it from A to B is useful, and we have all the experiences of the last six months to draw on. Many of us are weary, and some are apprehensive about how far we still have to go… but thinking about how far we have already come feels more positive, and I wonder when you look back in another six months, what the “you then” might tell the “you of now”?
And there’s something else too…
It is when we look back that we can really appreciate the opportunities that we’ve had.
Where has the current situation has taken you?
My own journey took me to the island of blog…and I’m so glad it did.
Little did I know when I began training with the Ollie School of coaching, that it would lead to this opportunity.
So, looking back over those blogs, enjoy the little things, have fun and go a bit silly. Don’t be afraid let the tears flow when they need to. Press the pause button, draw your emotions, write lists and paint secret messages on your wall. Breathe. Be an astronaut… deal with your inner critic and feel gratitude.
And in the spirit of that gratitude, if you are reading this and have read any, or all of the other blogs, then thank you. I am hugely grateful to have had this opportunity and have been delighted that people have written such lovely, thoughtful, and thought provoking comments about them. Thank you for making me a little part of your journey, and thank you for being a part of mine.
Particular thanks to my husband who reads them each week before I send them in, to check they actually do make some kind of sense (!), and to Caroline who not only reads them and publishes them, but who also gently encouraged me to keep going… to reach this milestone of twenty blogs!
It’s funny how things work out.
Deborah Stephenson, Ollie Coach trainee
I am an Ollie School trainee and a Director at an Independent Prep School for boys. I am a trained journalist and worked in BBC Local Radio for more than twenty years as a reporter, bulletin reader, news editor and programme maker. It was a great job, but I wanted to do something to support my own children’s wellbeing with a view to taking that on to support others and, in pursuit of a better work life balance, I resigned as the Assistant Editor of BBC Essex last year. Inspired by the Ollie School concept I was excited to be accepted for the training course and it has been a fascinating and enlightening and journey so far.
To get in contact with Deborah, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Ollie and his Super Powers and how to become an Ollie Coach go to https://www.ollieandhissuperpowers.com/pages/about-us